Friday, May 31, 2013

Jenny Holzer | You Are Caught Thinking About Killing Anyone You Want

New Ruling in Beuys performance photography case

Artforum International Digest, November 2010:


A German court has made a landmark decision, which could have consequences for the future documentation and exhibition of bygone performance-art works. Heard in a Düsseldorf court, the case pitted the German artist copyright collecting agency VG Bild-Kunst against the Stiftung Museum Schloss Moyland, the Moyland castle museum foundation that holds the world’s largest collection of works by Joseph Beuys. The court decided in favor of VG Bild-Kunst: Documentary photographs of a Beuys performance can no longer be exhibited.

As the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports, problems began last year when the Moyland castle museum showed Manfred Tischer’s photographs of Beuys’s 1964 performance Das Schweigen von Marcel Duchamp wird überbewertete (The Silence Of Marcel Duchamp Is Overrated). The artist’s widow Eva Beuys successfully contested the exhibition on the grounds that the documentary images did not respect the original performance. Although Beuys’s thirty-minute performance was broadcast live on German television in 1964, Tischer’s photographs are the only remaining document because no film was made at the time.

VG Bild-Kunst, which also protects artist estates, represented Eva Beuys indirectly in the recent case. Siding with the artist copyright collecting agency, the Düsseldorf judge ruled that Tischer’s photographs were an “inadmissible deformation of the original work” and infringed upon the work’s copyright. By extension, the Moyland castle museum foundation can no longer exhibit them. While promising to appeal the judgment, Moyland director Bettina Paust criticized the decision and argued that documentation of performance-art works could not be disestablished. No word on how the court’s decision will impact Beuys exhibitions outside of Germany."

Artforum International Digest, May 29, 2013:

"Who owns the rights to photos of performance art? According to Der Standard, a new ruling by the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe will allow the Beuys Museum in Schloss Moyland to display photographs taken of the artist’s fat and chocolate actions without first obtaining permission from his widow’s estate. The decision overturns a Dusseldorf court’s 2009 ruling that the museum’s eighteen photographs could only be exhibited with Eva Beuys’s approval. Now, according to the federal court, while the 1964 performance is protected under copyright, the photographs, which were taken by Manfred Tischer, are “unsupported material.”"

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Velvet Underground and Warhol Foundation settle lawsuit

Velvet Underground founders Lou Reed and John Cale, named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, had argued that Andy Warhol's banana sticker design for the group's debut album had become an iconic symbol of the group. They objected to it's commercial licensing to other parties, such as Apple, for use on iPhones and iPads.

The group were initially the house band for Warhol's factory and he acted as their manager (insisting on top billing for Nico, who he added to the line-up), producer for their 1967 self-titled debut, and designer of the "Peel slowly and see" sticker image in question.

A trial, set for mid-summer has been averted, but the exact terms of the settlement have not been disclosed. For more information visit the CBC here or Rolling Stone, here.

The band split up in 1973 but Reed had left the year before, Cale several years prior and Nico before him. Warhol's involvement with the group diminished after the poor sales of the debut. Cale and Reed collaborated on the 'concept' album Songs for Drella, in tribute to Warhol in 1990 (Drella, a contraction of Dracula and Cinderella, was a common nickname for Warhol at the Factory). Two years later the band reunited for a tour and live album.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Otto Muehl, RIP

The New York Times has just announced that artist Otto Muehl died last Sunday in Portugal. He was 87.

The obituary can be read here and his films can be seen at Ubuweb, here (NSFW would be an understatement).

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Another Tumblr

Given that my personal website ( has not been tended to in two and a half years, I've started a tumblr account for updates of new works and the occasional older item. About a third of the content will be book&multiple related.

Visit it here:

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Book Affair

The Book Affair is a three day independent publishing fair organized in the occasion of 55th Venice Art Biennale.

From May 30 to 31st, 2013 daily from 10am to 8pm
Opening: May 29th at 6.30pm
at Biblioteca di Castello, San Lorenzo, Castello 5065, Venice, Italy

Not the easiest site to navigate, but for more information, click here.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stefan Bruggemann | This Work Is Realized When It Is Burned

Stefan Bruggemann
This Work Is Realized When It Is Burned
Brussels, Belgium: MOREpublishers, 2013
59 x 84 cm (folded) to 29.7 x 21 cm (unfolded)
Offset print on multi-offset 120gr
Signed and numbered edition of 100 (+7A.P)

The 23rd in the series of A1 to A4 Sunday posters (which also includes Jonathan Monk, Maurizio Nannucci, Joe Scanlan, Robert Barry, Pierre Bismuth, etc. etc.) was released a week ago today.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Instant Coffee | Red Violator

Instant Coffee
Red Violator
Vancouver, Canada: Self-published, 2012
red neon
Edition of 3

Instant Coffee's third exhibition at MKG127, Take the Easy Way, closes today with a slide show presentation (see below post). For more information, visit the gallery site, here or the artists' site, here.

Update: read the Artinfo review here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Slide Show Presentation

As part of Instant Coffee's Take the Easy Way Out exhibition, I will be presenting a ten minute slide presentation at MKG127 tomorrow, alongside Adam David Brown, Bill Burns, Ulysses Castellanos, and Paulette Phillips.

I will be presenting excerpts and outtakes from my latest book project The Morning Has Gold In Its Mouth, a fully fan-annotated run down of Kubrick's The Shining, frame by frame.

The event takes place between 5 and 6 pm, tomorrow.

Saturday May 25th

1445 Dundas St. W.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Tumblr

Please visit the companion site

which I started yesterday. I won't post anything there that isn't here also, but will repost relevant (and semi-relevant) things from other tumblr sites that may not end up here.


Robert Sabbag, Damien Hirst
Snowblind:  A brief Career in the Cocaine Trade 
Edinburgh, UK: Canongate, 1998
320 pp., 23 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm., hardcover
Edition of 1000 signed and numbered copies

Published by Canongate books (who have also published works by Miranda July, David Shrigley, Christian Bok, Nick Cave, etc.), this collector's edition of Sabbag's 1976 cult classic about smuggling features an elaborate and functional design by Damien Hirst. It is housed in a slip cover featuring a collage of reproduced dollar bills and bound between reinforced mirrors. A metal credit card (in the name of the protagonist Zachary Swan and in the style of an American Express card) can be used as a bookmark. Inside the book, a die-cut trench runs through the pages hiding a rolled up $100 bill. The final three digits of the note, which were specially secured from the US Treasury, correspond to the number of the edition.

The title page is also numbered and signed by the collaborators — Hirst, Howard Marks (who contributed the introduction to this edition) and Sabbag.

Available for £950.00 (which I think is close to the original publication price), here.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

David Shrigley | HEROIN / COCAINE

David Shrigley
Avignon, France: Collection Lambert, 2000-2002
8 x 5.5 cm. each
Porcelain salt and pepper shakers
First edition of 600

Boxed edition from 2008 available for $140 CDN here.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Keith Coventry : Inhaler

Keith Coventry
London, UK: The Multiples Store, 1998
7.5 x 3 x 4.2 cm
Cast plastic found inhaler
Edition of 50 initialed and numbered copies

"What at first appears to be a true-to-size plastic model of an asthma inhaler turns into an object with a very different recent history. Life-enhancer for some, the inhaler, once redundant, takes on another life as a travelling pipe for the urban crack addict. For Keith Coventry this is a departure from painting and from his previous large-scale work in bronze into a new, non-traditional material – cast plastic."

Still available from the publisher, here.

Tanam Press: Wild History

Richard Prince (ed)
Wild History
New York City, USA: Tanam Press, 1985
234 pp., 8.4 x 5.8", softcover
Edition size unknown

An anthology of writings compiled by Richard Prince, who also contributes a story. Other contributors include Tina Lhotsky, Reese Williams, Anne Turyn, Constance Dejong, Peter Nadin, Roberta Allen, Glenn O'Brien, Gary Indiana, Kathy Acker, Richard Prince, Sylvia Reed, Robin Winters, Tricia Collins/Richard Milazzo, Cookie Mueller, Lynne Tillman, Paul McMahon, Spalding Gray, and Wharton Tiers.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tanam Press: Eating Through Living by Jenny Holzer and Peter Nadin

Jenny Holzer and Peter Nadin
Eating Through Living
New York City, USA: Tanam Press, 1981
176 pp., 13 x 20 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown





Sunday, May 19, 2013

Tanam Press: Why I go to the Movies Alone by Richard Prince

Richard Prince
Why I go to the Movies Alone
New York City, USA: Tanam Press, 1983
102 pp., 29.2 x 13.2 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

Prince's third publication is a collection of "interrelated texts which offers an intimate view of an urban world where the characters create images of each other and then the images have relationships" (publisher's catalogue listing).

Unsigned copies (as issued) typically sell for approximately $450.00 US. A later edition was released by the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in 1995.

"A lot of people wish they were someone else. And some of us would like
to exchange parts with other people, keeping what we already like and
jettisoning the things we can't stand. Some people would like to try to change places, just for a day, with maybe someone they admired or even envied, to see what it would be like, to see if it would be what they'd always heard it would be. There are those too, that are quite satisfied with themselves and never think
about such things as another person's blessings, and it seemed appropriate to
someone like him, that these satisfied ones were the ones that he most wanted
to be like and exchange with and try to take the place of.
He could never imagine what it must be like to spend an entire day
without ever having to avoid a mirror. And where he lived, he made sure, never had a reflection, and any surface that did so, got dulled or rubbed out, and any
surface that became stubborn and kept its polish, got thrown in a bucket.
When he went out, to the outside, he would make sure to take care of all
of what was him, and be aware to resist and turn away from even a frame of
glass, something as common as a darkened window. Uninhibited unconsciousness was something uninheritable, like a nameless form of new life, something not learned, a kind of anomalous gracenote.
This type of character or "component", (as he came to call it) was one of
his wishes, a surprise he had asked for on every one of his thirty-three
birthdays, and though the chances of receiving this prize was next to under the well,
it became a habit, an attitude, a toll to be paid, like sure, make the bet,
why not, wishful thinking cost about as much as the chances of getting it anyway.
His physical demands and his inability to come to terms with their order,
wasn't, as one would assume, eccentric, or even dangerously whimsical. He
had justifiable reasons, and asking for deliverance, however unanswered, was, he felt, strict and necessary clockwork.
Mostly he wasn't sure, (a question of sorts) of how long he could
continue to walk around with the feeling of blood on his hands.
He used to live in the West Village in New York on eleventh street near
the southwest corner of Hudson Ave. And even in a part of the city where a lot
of men were incredibly handsome, he was more. His look had the call, they
exploded the bill for what was generally considered classical or God-like, and
what was usually said about them was something like, "how can that be".
He had heard this many times and as many times as he had, he still took
it badly, sort of seeing his luck as a curse, something thought up on purpose, a
bone pointed at him by an unknown tribe for reasons he felt unfair. He was
being punished for existing as he was, and what was left of his life came to be
lived as a version of one, like a shadow, (a life as subtle as a detail)
always making sure never to be tagged or named, good guy or bad guy.
The self-casting or this is assumed state of invisibility, was the ready
way he figured to avoid embarassment and showdown. Being what many people imagined as the most handsome man in the world was not at all the adventure it was rumored to be. Privacy in public, at least in the city, was something negotiated. The constant fingering and targeting was never as harmless as gossip or whisper, and what most people tolerated as "dirty laundry", he rightly feared as a possible, (at any time) lynch mob free-for-all.
He had spent most of his adult life in an urban surrounding, where
pedestrian relationships had come to be seen as modern dance. He would say he was a solo performer, an independent, someone who ramrodded more than walked, and if his move wasn't exactly in a straight line, he'd come about as if in a sail-race and return from where he began, usually his home, go inside, stay, and not come out for a week.
He wasn't a martyr. He wasn't someone who felt sorry for himself and
walked around with his head down willingly. Eye contact was supposed to be
natural and welcomed, and having to wear dark glasses, as one would wear a pair of shoes, wasn't for him, jazzy or cool or soulful.
The turning of heads, or the useless effect of stopping traffic, was like
confronting his peers as a set of exposures. People froze and anticipated,
as if the sight of his presence was religious in nature. It was scary. Really
a fright. He was better than Christ, he was physically perfect.
He came to refer to his condition as surface, and his surface was a sign
of an emotion that the literal could be as true, perhaps truer than the
symbol. I mean the man could breathe and unless he died and came to be known only through a photograph, then one would have to concede that the tables had turned.
His literalness was what was real. This is what he wore on his hands.
He was a carrier, maybe the only one, an ever present reminder that proportion
and line and beauty did not necessarily exist only in an impression or form or
idea. This was what all the blood was about, and this revelation and the
seriousness of it, weighed an amazing ton."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tanam Press: R. Buckminster Fuller's Tunings

R. Buckminster Fuller
New York City, USA: Tanam Press: 1979
12" LP
Edition size unknown

Often omitted from Fuller's discographies, this rare disk is the last recording produced before his death in 1983. According to a listing from the time, the 33 1/3 LP contained three "verbal chapters" on Fuller's philosophy, and sold for $7.98. The recording was made in the author's home in Sunset, Maine, on August 22nd, 1979.

The above ex-library copy sold for $103 in an online auction in 2010.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Tanam Press: Susan Sontag's Debriefing

Susan Sontag
New York City, USA: Tanam Press, 1979
12" LP, 36:50
Edition size unknown

Susan Sontag reads excerpts from Debriefing, written in 1973, and originally published in the American Review in 1975. It later appeared in a collection of short stories titled I, etcetera, published in 1978.

It's available to buy here, for $14.22. CDN,  or to download here. Read an excerpt from the author's site, here.

Buckminster Fuller's Tunings and Sontag's Debriefing were the first publications of Tanam Press, founded by Reese Williams in 1979. For more information visit Printed Matter, who are hosting an exhibition of the Press' output which opens next week and runs until the end of June.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tanam Press: Hotel

(Reese Williams, ed)
New York City, USA: Tanam Press, 1980
[unpaginated], 21.5 x 13.5 cm., softcover
Edition size unknown

Synopsis: An anthology of artists' writings including Michael Meyers: "A Smaller History," Reese Williams: "A Study of Leonardo," Jenny Holzer & Peter Nadin: "Living," Laurie Anderson: "Dark Dogs, American Dreams," Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: "Exilee Temps Morts," Mike Roddy: "Frost Fun Fiction Fall Forest," and Richard Nonas: "Montezuma's Last Dead Breakfast in Mexico".

Available for between $25 and $50 US, here.

The title was also available in hardcover (top).

On May 17th, Printed Matter opens an exhibition of books published by the Tanam and NFS Presses. For more information, visit their site, here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Critical Art Ensemble | Cronicas Brazileiras

Critical Art Ensemble
Cronicas Brazileiras
Tallahassee, USA: Self-published, 1989
[20] pp., 23.5 x 15.5 cm., board covers
Edition of 75

An accordion-fold book, letter-pressed book presenting two simultaneous stories. On one side are the Cronicas Brazileiras, anecdotal tales of Brazilian life, told familiarly in the first and second person as though the reader were fully aware of their cultural and political contexts. On the verso are the Annotations to Cronicas Brazileiras, selected facts from mostly uncited sources. These annotations do not necessarily correlate with the original stories, but rather they tell stories of their own.

Available from Printed Matter, here, for $35.00.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Robert Barry | Belmont 1967

Robert Barry
Belmont 1967
Eindhoven, Netherlands: Van Abbemuseum, 1977
[82] pp., 21 x 28 cm., spiral bound
Edition of 750

Published in conjunction with Barry's exhibition of the same name, at the Vanabbemuseum, Eindhoven, and Museum Folkwang Essen in 1977.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Alvin Lucier | Resonant things

Alvin Lucier
Resonant things
Houston, USA: Contemporary Arts Museum, 1991
15 x 20 cm., boxed
Edition of 500

The fourth in a series of six boxed artists' books published under the umbrella of Bayou Books. Other titles include Christian Boltanski's White Shadows, Mental Asylum by Bert L Jr. Long, and Blood Stone by Suzanne Bloom.